8 Places to Visit When in Indore
July 3, 2019
by Jayesh Sharma
Not long-ago Madhya Pradesh in its tourism advertisement called itself Hindustan Ka Dil – the heart of India. It surely is. Its people and the culture that hails from every part of India makes it truly the heart of the nation.
But when you start to look around for the heart of Madhya Pradesh, you end up with Indore. Once a trading hub between Deccan and Delhi, Indore used to seek the world’s attention through her famous Street Food (Poha-Jalebi to be precise) until 2017 when Indore topped the first Swachh Survekshan in India. And it still is India’s cleanest city, topping the list 3 out of 3 times.
Indore, which was once ruled by the Maratha Holkar dynasty is now a Tier-II city of India with cool-headed people who often like portraying their driving skills at traffic signals. It holds India’s third-oldest Stock exchange – Madhya Pradesh Stock Exchange and has qualified under the Government of India initiative to develop 100 Smart Cities. Besides this, Indore is the financial capital and a prominent education hub of the state. And it is also known for being the only city in India to house both IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) and IIM (Indian Institute of Management).
Though Indore has enough hotspots in the city, and a few on the outskirts too (Patalpani Waterfall, Janapav Kuti and Mandu that attracts people in huge amount every Monsoon) to keep you busy for days, it has some prime locations that nobody should be missing on their visit to the cleanest city of India. Here’s the list of those places/events for you:
Every fifth day after Holi, Rang Panchami is celebrated in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and some part of northern India. In Indore, Rang Panchami is celebrated with greater enthusiasm than Holi. Indore, like the rest of the Malwa, holds gair(s), which technically is a group of people completely drenched in colours, all soaked up in the ambience and totally enjoying themselves.
Rajwada, which is the centre of the city sees the culmination of several small gairs into a grander gair. Every year the audience grows in the count a little more and the government takes special measures and undertakes focused planning to turn Rang Panchami in success and fun. Year 2019th was a little more special as some Indoris from gairs stayed behind to help clean up the rubbish left by gairs.
A gair on Rang Panchami
Khajrana Ganesh & Bada Ganpati
The Khajrana Ganesh Mandir was built by Rani Ahilyabai Holkar to safeguard the idol of Lord Ganesh from the tyrant Mughal ruler Aurangzeb. While Bada Ganpati is a 25-foot statue of Lord Ganesh, hence the name Bada (translated as huge in English) made of limestone, jaggery, bricks and sacred soil and water from the major pilgrim places in India.
The Khajrana Ganesh and Bada Ganpati are one of the favourite destinations of Indoris as it is a tradition in Hindus to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesh before the start of any new venture.
From Poha-Jalebi to Shikanji and Lassi to Panipuri and Moong Bhajiye to Samosa-Kachori, 56 Dukan has it all covered for you. Situated near Palasia, this place got its name from the initial 56 shops that stood at the place serving Street Food, but it has now been transformed into several shops with much diverse range. It sells clothes, ice-creams, shakes, Dosa, Idli, pav-bhaji, parathas and every other thing that your taste buds might be interested in. 56 Dukan starts to get crowded during the evenings and serves till late at night. Ideally a “hang-out” destination of the youth, the grown-ups could be easily spotted easing their hunger.
Rajwada palace is a 200-year-old residence of the Holkars which unfortunately has seen fire three times. It is amongst those few structures that were built in the same manner as they were before the fire. It is probably the oldest part of Indore and holds Imli bazar, Kapda bazar (Cloth market. You should go shopping here at least once), Sarafa Bazar (Jewellery market that turns into Street Food corner after midnight) and Khajuri Market (very famous for the books) around its boundary walls. The architecture is inspired by Mughal, Europe and Marathas.
The Rajwada Palace
There’s another place to find the art and luxury of the Holkars. Their 19th-century palace that spans in a 28-acre land. It is a mix of baroque, rococo and neoclassic styles and is adorned with Italian marble columns, Persian carpets and huge chandeliers. It is called the Lal Bagh Palace.
Gommatgiri is basically 24 Jain Temples representing the 24 Tirthankaras of Jainism. It also holds a replica of Bahubali at Shravanabelagola, India.
But apart from the religious aspect, Gommatgiri is a picnic spot with a great view of Indore. Like Bijasan Mata, it is very close to the airport and could be an easy chill out if you are changing flights and have a couple of free hours.
Annapurna Mata Mandir
The Annapurna Mata Mandir lies in Asia’s biggest colony – Sudama Nagar (Quite a surprise, but Indore hosts Asia’s biggest colony too). As the name says, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Annapurna – the deity of food. The entrance of the temple would surely seek your attention with its four life-sized statues of elephants.
The temple premise is surrounded by several restaurants and Street Food corners, which means you can seek food goddess blessings virtually and practically almost at once.
Bijasan Mata Mandir
Frankly speaking, Bijasan Mata Mandir is my favourite spot in the city. It gets you an altogether different view of Indore. You are sure to find solace at this place (At least I do. Always. Well, except for the Navratris.). And a picturesque view of the magnanimous hill ranges. And it is believed that Bijasan Mata cures blindness.
The Bijasan Mata Mandir is 6 km from the city centre and sits on a tekri/hill.
We have talked about this. Sarafa Bazar – the jewellery market that turns itself into Street Food adda at midnight. These narrow streets host a whole world of Street Food starting with hot Gulab-Jamuns to cold Rabdi. And momos. And everything that was at 56, of course.
A shop at Sarafa Bazar
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July 6, 2019
Very nice n useful Post